Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team take ambitious targets into second week of 2022 Dakar Rally

Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team take ambitious targets into second week of 2022 Dakar Rally

  • Cristina Gutiérrez (ESP) came to the Dakar as the reigning T3 FIA World Cup winner. Now the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver remains determined to leave her mark on the biggest race of the season. The Spaniard and her co-driver François Calazet (FRA) were third overall at the Rest Day and have their sights set on a podium finish, or better.
  • “Sometimes you have problems and sometimes you don’t, the Dakar is like this. It’s the same for the rest of the people, not just us. It’s a race that demands consistency and you must always be calm even if things are making you nervous.” – Cristina Gutiérrez

  • Gutiérrez is yet to claim a stage win at this Dakar, but can use the second week to help the team towards their ambitious target of winning every T3 stage at this edition of the rally.
  • Yesterday’s Rest Day was the first time Seth Quintero (USA) has slowed down for a while. He won the last four stages of the 2022 Dakar Rally’s first week and in total the teenager has won six of seven stages so far. Among all the success for the 19-year-old was a tough Stage 2 which saw enough time lost to rule him out of fighting for overall victory in the T3 category.
  • “This has probably been the most heartbreaking and rewarding Dakars that will ever happen to me. We’ve raced seven days now and got six wins so we’re looking at breaking the record for most stage wins in a single Dakar. If we can get to 10 stage wins we’ll have the record, but it’ll be tough. The Dakar used to be 17 stages and now we race just 12 stages, so it’s an even bigger challenge.” – Seth Quintero
  • Quintero’s performances in first week have reverberated around the bivouac and underline the Junior Team’s aim of providing a springboard for young rally-raid talent. With top car teams already taking a keen interest in the Californian, it’s surely just a matter of time before we see him behind the wheel of a T1 category machine at the Dakar.
  • Right now though the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver and his navigator Dennis Zenz (GER) are focused on what’s right in front of them. They have their plan of attack drawn up for the second week and are determined to keep the adventure going until the end.
  • “You can’t mess with Dakar, it will bite you pretty quickly and we’ve learnt that plenty of times. This is only our third week ever of being a part of the rally. We’ve had quite an experience if you add up the two weeks from last year and this first week of 2022.” – Seth Quintero
  • The record for stage wins at a single Dakar is held by Pierre Lartigue (FRA) who won 10 stages at 1994 edition, which was 17 stages long. Quintero has six more stages to add to the six stage wins he’s already banked at the 2022 Dakar.
  • It was a roller coaster first ever week at the Dakar for Guillaume De Mevius (BEL). The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team debutant was the only competitor aside from Quintero to win a T3 stage in the first week. His win on Stage 2 will be the highlight of his first Dakar participation. However, a bent rollcage forced him and co-driver Kellon Walch (USA) to retire prematurely from the rally a few days later due to FIA safety regulations.
  • “Overall, this Dakar has been a good experience for me. Things have been happening every day so the week has been very intense. It’s a real pity that we’re unable to race the second week. That’s the way it is and I will come back stronger next year.” – Guillaume De Mevius
  • This Dakar also ended in the first week for Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) who had stepped in for Mitch Guthrie Jr. (USA) at the last minute.
  • Quintero and Gutiérrez are back behind the wheel of their OT3s today for Stage 7. On the menu is a timed special stage of 401km between Riyadh and Al Dawadimi, starting with 100km of sand dunes. The 2022 Dakar Rally will finish in Jeddah on January 14.

    LIGHTWEIGHT PROTOTYPE (T3) OVERALL RANKINGS
    1. F. LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL)/JP. LATRACH VINAGRE CAN-AM 24:19:17
    2. S. ERIKSSON (SWE)/W. ROSEGAAR (NLD) CAN-AM +23:09
    3. C. GUTIERREZ (ESP)/F. CAZALET (FRA) OT3 +2:20:16
    4. F. ALVAREZ (ESP)/X. PANSERI (FRA) CAN-AM +2:30:22
    5. P. PINCHEDEZ (FRA)T. GAIDELLA (FRA) CAN-AM +2:30:24

Select Quotes

Cristina Gutiérrez: “Sometimes you have problems and sometimes you don’t, the Dakar is like this. It is the same for the rest of the people, not just us. It’s a race that demands consistency and you must always be calm even if things are making you nervous.”

“Now we have another week and a lot more things will happen. At the moment we’re happy with our result and how we’re working as a team. We need to keep things like this and do our best in the second week.”

“We keep in mind how far in front the leader is and what we must do to be on the podium. You need to stay in control of your own race. But the most important thing is to be consistent. If you can minimise mistakes and problems with the car you will be OK.”

 

Seth Quintero: “This has probably been the most heartbreaking and rewarding Dakars that will ever happen to me. We’ve raced seven days now and got six wins so we’re looking at breaking the record for most stage wins in a single Dakar. If we can get to 10 stage wins we’ll have the record, but it’ll be tough. The Dakar used to be 17 stages and now we race 12 stages, so it’s an even bigger challenge.”

“The second stage was tough to take because we knew then with all the time lost we were out of the overall. But all the messages that came in gave me so much motivation to carry on. I’ve never been know to give in and that’s a great trait to have and also a horrible trait to have. I’m one hardheaded person and I don’t give up easy, let alone at all. All the positivity I’ve been getting over this past week has just added to that.”

“You can’t mess with Dakar, it will bite you pretty quickly and we’ve learnt that plenty of times. This is only our third week ever of being a part of the rally. We’ve had quite an experience if you add up the two weeks from last year and this first week of 2022.”

Guillaume De Mevius: “It was quite an intense start to the Dakar. On the first stage we had some problems and were stuck in the desert for seven hours. Then we won Stage 2 and came second on Stage 4. Then unfortunately I made a mistake on Stage 5 and we rolled the car. This damaged the rollcage and we have been unable to rejoin the rally.”

“Overall, this Dakar has been a good experience for me. Things have been happening everyday so the week has been very intense. It’s a real pity that we’re unable to race the second week. That’s the way it is and I will come back stronger next year.”